Are you one of those students who is of the opinion that going for an internship is a total waste of time and money because it is mostly unpaid and you will still have to pay the tuition fees to the university overseas? Discard these thoughts right away. Internships not only make you job-ready but also take your skills to the next level.
Let’s understand that comparing paid and unpaid internships isn’t fair, as both offer invaluable experiences within your field in the local job market. If you’re investing 15 to 20 lakhs in your education abroad, pursuing an internship in your industry will be the perfect complement.
There are episodes where the practical application of your field differs from your academic study. For example, I have met many who have experienced this, in multimedia programmes, you may learn specific software, but workplaces often use entirely different ones. This issue can hamper your employability as there’s a gap between what you’ve studied and the tools being used in the job market.
Imagine you’re studying a most demanding course and interning in the same field, it’s a golden opportunity. The experience gained not only provides insight into the job’s expectations but also boosts your exposure and confidence significantly. This deadly combination can truly take you places.
For learning and development, internships are a treasure trove. They enable you to put your knowledge to use, acquire new abilities, and work through actual issues. They not only help you develop soft skills and teamwork, but they also greatly enhance your employability and resume. They’re also a terrific method to network with people in your industry and find future employment opportunities.
Understanding the “Why”
The Australian government has started a two-week internship programme for international students which can take place anywhere in the world virtually. What do you think drives the occurrence of such training programmes, like sandwich programmes in the UK, Co-op programmes in Canada, or work-integrated learning programmes in other countries?
The answer to this question is their intention to make you more job-ready and improve your skills because employers seek performers right from Day 1 in their job market. There’s no need to undergo significant learning in the initial month of your employment, as is commonly practised in India. For instance, if I were hiring an MBA, the candidate might expect three months of training to understand operations, regardless of their industry background. While acknowledging cultural differences, having prior industry knowledge can significantly elevate your career trajectory.
Internships serve as a vital platform for students unsure about securing jobs. They help in networking, where lifelong friendships can form. Moreover, they impart crucial skills such as time and people management, resilience under pressure, and more. Importantly, internships offer a comprehensive understanding of employer expectations, preparing you effectively for your professional journey.
If you get the opportunity to engage in internships, especially programmes like Curricular Practical Training (CPT) in the US or similar experiences worldwide, seize it. CPT is an advantage for international students that lets them work in the United States while they’re there. Your course of study must be connected to the work. Thus, for instance, your CPT must be relevant to engineering if you are enrolled in engineering courses. These programmes expose you to real-world scenarios, allowing you to apply theoretical knowledge in practical contexts.
Students Must Make Note
In many Indian business schools and engineering colleges, internship projects are often seen as a means to boost grades rather than a genuine learning opportunity. My suggestion would be for students to proactively engage in self-directed projects rather than outsourcing them. Those who sincerely dedicate themselves to working on projects, avoiding mere attendance-driven outsourcing, will invariably stand out. Their commitment will provide a substantial edge over peers who view internship projects as burdensome tasks. The depth of exposure and learning gained through self-driven projects is truly unparalleled.
When planning to study abroad, it’s crucial not to outsource your projects or treat them as unnecessary baggage that prolongs your degree or diploma. Many students aim to settle abroad and anticipate obtaining a post-study work visa after completing their education. Picture this: if your post-study visa aligns with the industry where you interned, the transition will be seamless and fulfilling. However, starting work without prior internship experience might resemble starting from scratch. It’s similar to the old phone dialers that reset to their original position with a ‘ghrrr’ sound after each dialled digit—a reset that can be avoided with proper preparation and internship experience.
You now have the option to either adapt and thrive like the newest technology or remain an outdated device in the digital age. You’ll need to consider your options and make a deliberate choice.
My call on this? Go for it. Embracing internships means tapping into power, knowledge, and wisdom, and it’s heartening to see both students and parents coming up and showing interest in exploring these opportunities. You are always welcome to call or visit overseas education consultants in Gurgaon for any expert guidance.
The Crux of the Matter
Enrolling in a highly sought-after degree and doing an internship within the same industry will not only help you get ready for the workforce but will also greatly improve your skill set. You’ll find yourself on an unstoppable journey of growth and advancement as soon as you achieve that level.
Remember, when life offers you the chance to intern abroad, don’t just pack your bags—pack your curiosity, your open mind, and your courage. Let your learning journey be anything but ordinary.